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Biomacromolecules. 2013 May 13;14(5):1370-8. doi: 10.1021/bm4000019. Epub 2013 Mar 29.

Self-assembling multidomain peptide fibers with aromatic cores.

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Department of Chemistry, Rice University, 6100 South Main Street, Houston, Texas 77005, United States.


Self-assembling multidomain peptides have been shown to have desirable properties, such as the ability to form hydrogels that rapidly recover following shear-thinning and the potential to be tailored by amino acid selection to vary their elasticity and encapsulate and deliver proteins and cells. Here we describe the effects of substitution of aliphatic hydrophobic amino acids in the central domain of the peptide for the aromatic amino acids phenylalanine, tyrosine, and tryptophan. While the basic nanofibrous morphology is retained in all cases, selection of the particular core residues results in switching from antiparallel hydrogen bonding to parallel hydrogen bonding in addition to changes in nanofiber morphology and in hydrogel rheological properties. Peptide nanofiber assemblies are investigated by circular dichroism polarimetry, infrared spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy, transmission and scanning electron microscopy, oscillatory rheology, and molecular dynamics simulations. Results from this study will aid in designing next generation cell scaffolding materials.

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